The biggest trade upheaval in decades made a cameo in the first presidential debate of 2020, with the word “trade” itself mentioned just three times in a 90-minute match derided as a schoolyard squabble devoid of policy substance.
“He talks about these great trade deals,” Democratic challenger Joe Biden said halfway through that evening last week in Ohio, noting that trade deficits with China and Mexico have widened under the incumbent.
“China ate your lunch,” President Donald Trump interjected before shifting to an attack on Chinese business connections of Biden’s son Hunter.
Needless to say, a trade community that’s witnessed more than three years of tariffs, re-negotiated deals and repeated threats of U.S. protectionism was left wanting to see some offense and defense displayed on its favorite subject.
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